Colonel John Dorrian, a spokesperson for the US-led coalition, has claimed that the ISIS capital of Raqqa will be isolated within weeks of operations.
“Well, we continue working on the isolation phase to approach the city. This is a key part of the campaign. We’re working that with the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Arab Coalition,” Dorrian saids on Wednesday.
“Raqqa is a city that the enemy uses for external operations, so what we would expect is that within the next few weeks, the city will be nearly completely isolated and then there will be a decision point to move in,” he added.
“We’re not gonna give the exact timing of the effort to seize the city, but we do believe that excellent progress is being made and we’ll continue to pressure the enemy on multiple fronts,” he said.
He then went onto explain that ISIS is on the decline in Syria and Iraq.
“One of the key points here is that as Raqqa is being isolated, the enemy’s also under pressure in al-Bab. They’re also under pressure from regime and Russian forces in Deir Ezzor and other areas around Syria. They’re completely surrounded in Mosul. So what we see is the enemy being overwhelmed anywhere that they are. It’s too many problems for them to solve at any given time,” he said.
“In the most recent phase of the operation, they [SDF] have encountered light to moderate resistance as enemy command and control struggles to deal with multiple ongoing operations simultaneously,” he added.
“Around Raqqa, coalition strikes continue taking a toll on the enemy capacity as strikes remove enemy fighters and resources. Recent targets include tunnels, weapons caches, command and control nodes, and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices,” he concluded.